Author Archives: Phil Bateman

About Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

Wednesfield North – Pot Hole Report

Wednesfield Road Signs

I have reported the following Pot Holes following constituents complaints –

  • Pot Holes top of Perry Hall Bridge
  • Pot Holes top of Castlebridge
  • Pot Hole in Kitchen Lane Essington.

I have received acknowledgement from Officers with regards to all the highway defects that I list here.

Staffordshire County Council who are responsible for the defect in Kitchen Lane Essington, state this morning that – Dear Councillor Bateman Thank you for your email. Your enquiry has been forwarded to the Highways Maintenance department for investigation and they will respond to your request. Your request for a response has also been noted with the service. Your customer reference is CAS-325029 (Broad Lane North) & CAS-325033 (Lichfield Road)Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

I will keep residents and constituents informed of any further activity.

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Should The Fire Authority Come Under The New Metro Mayor?

Follow This link – https://www.wmca.org.uk/who-we-are/consultations/west-midlands-fire-service-governance-consultation?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

There is a very serious and important consultation taking place at the moment.

The Local Government members are very keen that individual Council Tax payers see and understand the consultation, and the changes that are planned to the Governance of The Fire Authority. Please follow the link and make your view known.

The plans in a nut shell is to remove the current Fire Authority and place the governance under the New Metro Mayor.

Please read and make your views known…..Follow the link – at the top of the Page!

 

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No Fly Tipping Please!

Recently a constituent complained about fly tipping taking place in garage sites here in Ashmore Park. The garages are the property of Wolverhampton Homes. They sent a team out and cleaned up the two garage sites that were reported.

Then a few days ago, my constituent was back in touch making the situation clear that the fly tippers were back again, dumping their rubbish and littering the estate. I contacted the Wolverhampton Homes team and here is their response – “Wolverhampton Homes Estate Services will make arrangements for one of the Caretaking teams to attend and remove the fly-tipped items from the garage sites at Wolmer Road and Ferguson Street. Whilst on site removing items from the Ferguson Street garage site the Estate Caretakers will take photographs and obtain details of the perpetrator which we will forward to the City Council’s Public Protection Compliance Officers to consider further action.”

The Wolverhampton Homes management team reminded me that they visit all garage sites in WH management, and they are included in a scheduled works programme, and are visited on a bi-monthly basis.  

I am very grateful to Wolverhampton Homes who are doing their best to keep the Ashmore Park Estate in good conditions. I am sure the vast majority of readers will agree with these sentiments.

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Weather Related Problems You Reported!

Weather related problems…Over the last week or so Wednesfield North Councillors have reported Pot Holes in Eccleston Road, Drummond Close, Kitchen Lane, Lower Prestwood Road. Also a pot hole that was creating problems and damage to constituents cars in Kitchen Lane Essington. The Essington highways defect is the responsibility of Highways Staffordshire County Council.

I was also told about flooding at corner of Whiston Ave/ Peacock Ave, and in Broad Lane North, and problems with trees and shrubs that were at face height and growing through a fence in Reynolds Walk. Residents told me that this was a health and safety hazard for pedestrians.

Here is the response received so far, from Highway and City Officials.

  • Lower Prestwood Road –“ A member of my team has surveyed Lower Prestwood Road and the comments are as follows:- Lower Prestwood Road has a hot rolled asphalt carriageway surface that has had a micro-asphalt surface treatment applied to it, a preventative maintenance technique to prevent further deterioration of the hot rolled asphalt surfacing. The micro-asphalt surface treatment is deteriorating, predominantly in the nearside wheel track of the westbound lane, exposing the hot rolled asphalt surfacing below it. The depth of the deterioration is approximately 10mm and therefore outside of the criteria for carriageway pothole although this deterioration has a significant effect on the aesthetics of the carriageway surface and the ride quality. Please find attached two photographs to illustrate the deterioration. We propose to undertake interim works to these areas, smothering them with a dense bituminous material. The ride quality will be improved and the aesthetics of the surface will be to a lesser degree.
  • Kitchen Lane Essington – From Staffordshire County Council – “Thank you for contacting Staffordshire Highways. We will endeavour to respond to you within 7-10 working days. During busy periods (e.g. extreme or adverse weather) enquiries may take longer to respond to.” – I will keep you informed on their response performance.
  • Reynolds Walk– The pathway located next to the Coppice School falls under the responsibility of the City Council. Details of the enquiry relating to encroachment of the footpath have been forwarded to the City Council’s Customer Services department with a request for the relevant department to undertake the required actions to remedy.
  • Flooding Whiston Ave/Peacock Ave –“The gully team will check the site, however please be advised, that the volume of water experienced recently in a 24 hour period sometimes put the drainage systems under pressure in some locations to take water away, especially when the Severn Sewer is at full capacity, there will be standing water for a while until the water levels subside.”

As your Councillors we receive issues every day! I will keep you up dated as the information comes in.

Blue Light

Wednesfield Be On Guard! Report Anything Suspicious To The Police.

Good Morning Councillor Phil BATEMAN

– https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/news/4901/police-release-images-wolverhampton-rush-robbery-suspects

West Midlands Police has released images of people they want to trace in connection with a series of rush robberies in which victims have been attacked in their own homes in Wolverhampton.

The individuals pictured are suspected of being involved in house raids that have seen victims threatened with weapons before jewellery and cash was stolen.

Thieves struck at five homes spread across Bradley, Chapel Ash, Bescot, Pleck, West Bromwich, and Wednesbury between the 13 and 18 January. A further three raids took place last night, all in Wolverhampton.

Up to five Eastern European suspects are understood to have burst into homes and on some occasions used bleach and cleaning fluids on the hands of victims in a sub-standard attempt to clean DNA evidence.

West Midlands Police Force CID Inspector Ade George said: We are currently investigating five crimes across Wolverhampton, and a further three on Sandwell and Walsall. Force has been used on a number of occasions and victims left traumatised by the experience.”

We believe these criminals scope areas for homes that could be potential targets, I ask people to be aware of individuals or vehicles in their area acting suspiciously. If you are in any doubt, call police.

People who behave in this way deserve no protection, we need people to come forward and tell us who they suspect is involved so we can take action, identify and bring those responsible for these burglaries to justice.”

also like to ask for residents who are reading this in the news or on social media, to help us inform the wider community by sharing this information with neighbours, friends and family members.”

Information on how to protect your home can be found on our website: https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/campaigns/darker-nights/burglary

We are also issuing this advice for jewellery owners:

Keep the jewellery in a safe place and locked up if possible
Consider installing a safe at home which is securely fixed to the floor or wall. Speak to your insurance company and ensure you have a safe that offers the correct level of protection
Ensure that the jewellery is insured
Consider storing high valuable items elsewhere such as in a bank or safety deposit box; contact your bank for details
Make a list of all jewellery stored in your house with a description of each item
Photograph all pieces of jewellery against a plain background with the ruler next to them to give an idea of size
Make sure your home is kept secure at all times: keep windows and doors locked, switch lights on when going out to make your home look occupied, use burglar alarms and install dusk till dawn security lights on the outside of your property
If you are buying jewellery as a gift, dont leave it or its packaging on display. Follow as much of the above advice as possible to keep it safe.

For approved and tested products visit www.securedbydesign.com

Anyone with information, or who has been offered Asian or high value gold for sale, is asked to contact West Midlands Police on 101.

Alternatively information can also be passed anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Kitchen Lane Essington Boundary

Staffordshire CC Urged To Repair ‘Monster’ Pot Hole.

I am very aware of the problems that motorists are having with the Essington end of the Kitchen Lane. Though Rita, Mary and IHave been identiying and getting pot holes treated here in Wednesfield North.
We constantly get told of a ‘monster’ pothole that is at the Essington end of Kitchen Lane. One of my constituents tonigh messaged me saying it wasn’t a pothole but a “Quarry”!
I know that the pothole has been reported previously by others…..But I have now got on board, as again today I received further info about a constituent who alleges her car has been damaged by this particular ‘Pot Hole’.
I have given her the address to make a claim. But I also thought that I should share the correspondence that I have now sent to Staffordshire Highways Department……
“Hi I am a Wolverhampton City Councillor and there is a huge pot hole at the junction of Kitchen Lane –High Hill in Essington.
My constituents are informing me that the pot hole under your jurisdiction is damaging their cars. It is a danger to all road vehicles and to pedestrians. I am informed that
Staffordshire County Council has been told numerous times. But no action for repair is taken.
I know that all Local Authorities are under financial and resource pressure. But peoples health and safety are at risk here.
Please take urgent action, and sort this dangerous road defect out now!”
I will of course ensure that any reply is published on this page.
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Good nursery praised by Ofsted for setting high expectations

Good nursery praised by Ofsted for setting high expectations

A nursery school has been praised for setting high expectations for children, parents and staff after it was rated Good by Ofsted.

Inspector Heather Simpson visited Phoenix Nursery School in Blakenhall last month and found that Executive Headteacher Susan Lacey, her leadership team and governors “share a clear and ambitious vision” for their school.

Mrs Lacey managed the federation with Ashmore Park Nursery School “seamlessly and without disruption to children or staff”, and has used the successful practice at Ashmore Park Nursery to further develop the quality of teaching and raise outcomes for children at Phoenix.

The steps the leadership team have taken have “made a positive difference”, accelerating the pace of development and continuing to build on the school’s strengths.

The learning environment has been improved with the refurbishment of the main classroom and the creation of additional space, while the quality of teaching has been improved through high quality training. The governors are “very supportive” and have “invested heavily in improving facilities and teaching”.

Teamwork is a strength and morale is high, with staff “proud to work at Phoenix”. Children are “happy, safe and well cared for” and enjoy “excellent relationships” with their key workers.

Activities are “well planned and purposeful”, and the “very good” ratio of adults to children ensures that all children receive “high levels of nurture and support”, meaning they “thrive and get off to a good start in their education”. Parents have very positive views of the school and have a good understanding of how well their children are doing.

Ofsted noted that Phoenix Nursery recognises the importance of “high quality professional development” and strongly promotes this in a number of ways, including forming an international network between four schools in the West Midlands and 5 pre schools in Sweden. The school is also taking part in a research project looking at the use of digital technology by young children, which is having a “strong impact” on their skills.

Inspectors also found a strong safeguarding culture within the nursery, with robust procedures in place.

Mrs Lacey said: “I am very proud of the team at Phoenix Nursery School and how the school has been transformed in the three years since the last inspection, both in terms of the environment and the quality of teaching and learning.

“The school is now involved in a further Erasmus research project which will enable the team to work with schools in Romania, Spain and Sweden which we hope will continue to improve the quality of education on offer at Phoenix Nursery School.”

 Councillor Claire Darke, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I would like to congratulate Susan Lacey and her team on this very positive report which demonstrates the good progress that Phoenix Nursery School is making, and the benefits that its federation with Ashmore Park Nursery is delivering to both schools.

“Good early years’ education is so crucial to the development of our children, and it’s fantastic to read that Phoenix Nursery School is providing just that.”

More schools in Wolverhampton are now rated Good or Outstanding by Ofsted than ever before. To find out more about education in the City, please visit Education and Schools.

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Ed Doolan- The Peoples Champion

I really do not know where to start. Just around lunch time yesterday, I heard the bad news that BBC Radio WM broadcaster Ed Doolan had passed away.

I was just about to go into the Wolverhampton City Planning Committee and speak to an objection against planning permission for a property in my Ward.

BBC Broadcaster Ed Doolan has been a star turn for decades here in the West Midlands, he was the peoples champion! The public love his earthy style, the way he attacked politicians and corporate heads! They loved his ‘shock jock’ style of broadcasts. He was ALWAYS on the side of the listener, and they loved him for it.

I have known Ed since 1981, he gave me almost a weekly tussle for decades. I was first interviewed by Ed at BRMB. It was about the West Midlands County Councils bus fares policy. I had no idea then that this tough Ozzie would have so much influence on my political and later my business life.

Former County Councillor Brian Smith coached me for two days before the very first interview I undertook with Ed. I was fearful of Ed before I even met him! But that was the reputation that this antipodean was building here in Brum.

It’s true that in those early years I hated that telephone call from the BBC team, Sue Kelly, Conal O Donnell, Howard and others. The phone would ring- polite BBC voice at the other end “Ed would like you to come and answer some questions”!

Then we would be off, asking me questions on the hottest day of the year , about the coming Christmas Day and Boxing Day bus schedules! He was exasperating, he raised my blood pressure, before I had blood pressure problems!

But as the years turned into decades I started to like the sword fights, the bickering and the pure theatre he produced for his listeners. Ed was an innovator, as well as just being a broadcaster. I hated that darned diary gizmo he had with all the names and numbers in it and his notes!

I took part in his show from some far flung places, as I tried to convince Birmingham and the West Midlands of the importance of Light Rail Transit for the conurbation.

We had memorable broadcasts from Newcastle as we evidenced what the Tyne and Wear Metro had done for that City. We broadcast from Grenoble, where on the flight out the airline lost his case, he even had to wear a shirt of mine!

I have dozens of good stories; they were exciting times for me, and for what we were trying to do for this great conurbation. He was giving me a bashing again on his show, when I said it was easy to ‘spout’ on the radio. We clashed not for the first time, and I said again “I could do your job, “ Ed said to me “ You could, could you?”

Tony Inchley the legendary BBC Radio Boss, liked the challenge I made. Before you could say ‘Midland Metro’ it was all agreed and I took over his role in his hot seat for the day.

Mary and I became friends with Chrissy and Ed as the years rolled on.

It was sad when we were informed of that damned dementia. But we all stayed close and just before Christmas, Lord Peter Snape, Lynda Waltho and Mary and ,I celebrated with Chrissy and Ed with his dear sister at Ed’s home. Where we chatted and reminisced about the old times. Ed was a star man here in the West Midlands, he was a champion of Local Radio, he loved Birmingham, and he loved giving a voice to the underdog.

I will miss Ed Doolan, but I will also cherish the fond memories I have of a man with passion for the radio, and his Gilbert and Sullivan! Ed is a Legend, and I am pleased to have called him my friend. Rest In Peace! You will live for ever in the hearts and minds of your listeners, and  those magnificent archives you kept of all your shows will be gold dust for historians way into the future.

IMG_5708 City Council

Agenda for Planning Now Published.

This is the agenda for the next meeting of the City Councils planning committee, there is just one item up for approval on the 16th of January that affects Ashmore Park, and that is at item 6. The recommendation from the Chief Planning Officer is to Grant the application.

Agenda

Part 1 – items open to the press and public

Item No. Title

1 Apologies for absence

2 Declarations of interest

3 Minutes of the previous meeting – 14 November 2017 (Pages 3 – 10)

[To approve the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record]

4 Matters Arising

[To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting]

5 17/01089/FUL Former Wednesfield High School, Lakefield Road,

Wolverhampton WV11 3ES (Pages 11 – 22)

[To consider the application]

6 17/01363/FUL 601 Griffiths Drive, Unit 2, Wolverhampton WV11 2LJ (Pages 23

– 26)

[To consider the application]

7 17/01234/FUL 17 Fawdry Street, Wolverhampton WV1 4PA (Pages 27 – 30)

[To consider the application]

8 17/01228/FUL Land North East of 32 Laburnum Road, Wolverhampton WV1

2TH (Pages 31 – 34)

[To consider the application]

9 17/01282/FUL 530 Wolverhampton Road East, Wolverhampton WV4 6AP

(Pages 35 – 40)

[To consider the application]

10 17/00885/FUL 185 and 187 Penn Road, Wolverhampton WV3 0EQ (Pages 41 –

46)

[To consider the application]

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City Officers Moves To Put The Record Straight

I wonder if it is possible for me to draw your attention to current situation as it relates to collecting Un-Paid Counciltax.

The Express and Star, ran this story on Monday. The Express and Star said that  “Almost £5 million in council tax went uncollected across Wolverhampton last year while a further £1.5 million in business rates was also unpaid.”

Today the City Councils Managing Director moved to set the record straight in a briefing for Councillors.

The Managing Director Keith Ireland said – “On Monday, the Express & Star inaccurately reported that the amount of unpaid Council tax in the City has rocketed from £324,000 in 2009/2010 to almost £5 million in 2016/2017.

It seems that the paper has misinterpreted some figures it found on our website.

The figures the paper based this story on showed the amount of unpaid council tax that was still outstanding from each year going back over the past 8 years. At the end of 2009/2010 we were owed £3.48 million – which now stands at £324,000. Likewise, at the end of 2016/2017 we were owed £7.57 million and that now stands at £4.9 million and will continue to reduce as we successfully recover the debt.

Unlike the 1425% increase in non-payment wrongly reported earlier this week, the actual increase in non-payment over the past 8 years is around 3%.

It can often take years to recover unpaid debt – but we don’t give up, we work tirelessly for as long as it takes within the parameters of the law to ensure people pay what they owe. Likewise, we also take a responsible approach which wherever possible does not add to a person’s financial difficulties.”

Councillor Phil Bateman added. Its important that residents recognise that these debts do get chased, and the MD reminds City Councillors that the City will continue to try and recover debts owed for a  long time after the current year closes. Wolverhampton will do all within the law to recover payments from defaulters.